Thriller goes down to the wire for UMS
United Matamata Sports Reid and Harrison/ Waikato Stud 23 Te Awamutu Sports 27
Round 14 of the Waikato Premier Rugby saw UMS host Te Awamutu Sports at Bedford Park.
The ground was in good condition after all the rain and certainly allowed free flowing rugby in front of a great crowd, who were shown a performance by UMS that warmed the hearts of the supporters.
In trying to move out of the relegation zone, Te Awamutu needed the full five points. However, they just scrapped home with the win thanks to accurate goal kicking.
With UMS coming off several weeks of consentient play, hopes were high that UMS would achieve their first win.
Although this didn’t happen, parallels need to be made around this time last year with UMS and the progress they have made.
If they keep this form up that win, but more importantly the status of staying in the premier division, will be achieved.
As they have in the previous weeks, UMS began the best and strung together some great phases.
After the opening charges UMS gave away a penalty and Te Awamutu obviously looking for the win took the points for an early three point lead.
UMS were then guilty of giving away too many silly penalties at the rucks and mauls.
This allowed Te Awamutu too much possession and they scored in the 16th minute to take the game 10-0.
UMS gained some control and took heed of the official’s rulings, beginning some structured and accurate play. A penalty ensued, which Ryan Tuhakaraina neatly slotted.
UMS began to play with more confidence however this was there undoing, with final passes going astray.
This allowed Te Awamutu turn over plays, where they scored two further tries to take the half to 3-24.
Confidence and trusting UMS’ abilities to come back into the match were the main talking points of half time for coaches Simpkin and Hughes, along with control of the ball.
Again as in the past weeks, UMS dominated the second half. Te Awamutu began to crumble under the pressure of the UMS pack lead by captain Alex Bradley, Vakacegu and Robinson.
On the 54th minute mark UMS strung together some great play with first five Emery leading the way.
This allowed midfield players McIntyre and Vaimoso some great front foot ball.
They eventually wore down their opponents, making holes which allowed the outsides of Arnold and Darroch space.
This resulted in a certain try but the Te Awamutu winger knocked the ball down and was yellowed carded for his efforts.
There was some thought into whether a penalty try should be awarded.
UMS then opted for the scrum and after several forays Bradley scored to take the game to 8-24.
From the kickoff Te Awamutu were put under pressure and from the scrum in the UMS half, the home side dominated the scrum. UMS then made their way down the field to allow feisty and rumbling hooker Robinson over for a try on the 64th minute mark to take the score to 13-24.
UMS received a penalty after Darroch was taken out, causing injury, however from a great lineout drive outstanding lock Michael Peters drove over for his first try of the season, taking the 18- 24 with 10 remaining.
From the kick off UMS were a little sloppy which allowed Te Awamutu some much needed possession and then a successful penalty, taking the score to 18-27.
As with the previous week, Bradley didn’t want to come away with nothing from a game which UMS dominated. The UMS team then changed up a gear and took it straight back to Te Awamutu.
The final few minutes saw Te Awamutu just hanging on. This time UMS held their composure and outstanding midfield back McIntyre capped off another wonderful game with a try to give UMS two points, taking the score to 23-27.
Players in the forwards to shine were flanker Cawker, who gets better and better each game he plays in the 7 jersey.
In the backs Tuhakaraina’s passing to his outsides and quick darting runs certainly allowed go forward ball for his backs.
Next week UMS travel away to Hamilton Old Boys.
Tries: A Bradley, S Robinson, M Peters and J McIntyre; Penalties: R Tuhakaraina.
score to minutes